The inspiration for the lunch time salad was some fresh looking katuray or katuday (flowers of a corkwood tree) from my Ilocano suki. I decided to make a “KKKK Salad” which we haven’t enjoyed for many months, so I purchased katuday, kangkong, kamatis and kalabasa flowers. I also got several bunches of fiddlehead ferns or pako from the same vendor. When we got home, I realized that neither the katuday or the ripe little grape tomatoes made it into our baskets… There must have been a bit of confusion at the market and well, we didn’t get the produce. Bummer. No worries on the cost, I am sure she will make it up to me the next time around, but now I was craving a salad for which I didn’t have all of the ingredients… So while this first photo above is probably making most of your salivary glands go into overdrive, the rest of the salad makes it quite healthy really… :)
Simply clean up your leafy veggies, and choose the tender tips of the pako and ends of the kangkong or water spinach and blanche them in salted simmering water for a minute or so and remove and plunge them in an ice bath. Dry these on paper towels and place them in the fridge to chill. Clean up the kalabasa flowers, removing the pistil or is it the stamen in the middle, and blanche, dry and chill as well. When nearly ready to serve lunch or dinner, assemble the greens and flowers on a serving platter, add some sliced tomatoes and dress the salad with some freshly squeezed dayap (lime) and a little fish sauce or patis. Go lightly on the patis if you also have ginisang bagoong or shrimp paste and pork cracklings on hand, like we did. :)
The result is a cooked yet chilled salad, with a noticeable tang from the lime and the salty hit from patis and or bagoong. It is a perfect side salad to grilled fish or meats. We have served this salad to locals and foreigners alike and they are almost always surprised that this is “filipino food”…
You can either mix up all the greens or serve them separately, allowing guests to take as much or as little of whatever suits their fancy.
Don’t forget to chill for at least an hour so that the salad seems even more refreshing. And while kalamansi would certainly substitute for dayap or lime, the fragrance and taste of the lime brings this up a notch. Enjoy!